Jun 13, 2010

People are just talking Dogs, Right?

For the longest time I've had a real aversion to painting people. I'm not talking about the mushy background people you put in a street scene, I'm talking about real live faces with skin tone and lips and eyelashes and... my palms are starting to sweat just typing this.

Anyway, I was afraid to paint people. Lately I've been painting a lot of dogs and animals and I'm feeling pretty good about those subjects. During the "Bill Dowdle" fishing rodeo here in Sandestin a few weeks ago, Charles took hundreds of pictures of kids. Many of the photos were really good. One was amazing.



I named him "worm boy" and I printed the photo and kept it on my desk. Last night I grabbed a prepped canvas and decided to capture worm boy on canvas.

I really wish I had photographed the evolution of this one - we'd all be laughing this morning. I spent 45 minutes just trying to mix some reasonable skin tones, then I spent another 15 staring at the sketch trying to get up the nerve to lay down some paint.

Half way in to the project I was convinced that I did not possess the skills to paint people. I took a bathroom break and on my way back to the table I saw worm boy from a distance. The painting was actually starting to look like a person. It even looked a lot like worm boy! In my eagerness to get things right, I had forgotten to step back from the painting occasionally and look at it from a proper distance. Had it not been for my bathroom break I might have over painted, over corrected and wrecked my first attempt at a portrait!

So, here's worm boy - mostly finished. Please be kind but honest with your comments and if you're a painter as well, don't forget to drink a lot of liquids while you paint so you'll be forced to walk away from your work occasionally and gain some perspective on your way back from the bathroom.


"Worm Boy" - Acrylic on 10 x 10 inch canvas





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2 COMMENTS - Click here to leave YOURS!:

sassypackrat said...

I cannot paint or draw human faces to save my life so I think you did an excellent first job! You've really captured the look on his face and I love how you did his nose and mouth. Great job!

FunkyFolky said...

Robin, you are selling yourself short. First, the way you painted his eyes so large and expressive adds so much personality and even a hint of mischieviousness. I think your skin tones are wonderful, and I also love that I can tell that those are worms! Great work!

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